How to organize your stay in Disneyland Paris
One of the biggest dreams of mine since only I can remember was to visit Disneyland. I grew up watching Disney movies and so did Edwin. We started to plan our trip to Disneyland right before the pandemic started and then due to the circumstances this dream of us had to be posponed. But this year I knew I wouldn’t wait more, especially because we always organize something special for our birthdays and we couldn’t celebrate mine a lot because of Edwin’s broken leg last summer. We had 4 pretty tough months and we deserved some fun, especially my boy! That’s why I decided to go for something really big and I bought tickets to Paris. I gave them to Edwin on our anniversary dinner and he was totally convinced that we were going to spend 5 days in Paris.
What Edwin had no idea about was the fact that I was also taking him to Disneyland. You should have seen his face at the airport the moment he found out! It was simply priceless.
How much time did we spend there and how did we manage to try all the attractions? Find our below how to organize your stay in Disneyland and enjoy your time to the fullest with no rush!
When is the best time to go to Disneyland?
Most of the people decide to visit Disneyland in high season because of obvious reasons – if it’s a family trip, children are free from school and also the weather is pleasant. For sure summer is the best timing for majority, but in our case it was different because we don’t have kids and we enjoy traveling much more when it’s outside the season. I have to say I was a little bit worried about the weather at the end of November and yes, it was cold, but it didn’t make our stay less satisfying at all! A lot of hot chocolate, hot snacks and warm clothes could quickly fix it. Besides, the excitement of entering new attractions was so big that we hardly even noticed the cold. And what loved the most about going in this season was the fact that all the Christmas decorations were hung and the atmosphere was truly out of this world. Somewhere between the Christmas songs, Christmas parades and Christmas illuminations I felt like if I were in the middle of a fairy tale. You should see it in person to understand how beautiful it was to visit Disneyland in Christmas period! Is this the best time to go? I don’t know because I wasn’t there in summer to compare, but for me it was truly unique and if I had to make this decision again, I wouldn’t change anything 🙂
How can I get the tickets?
The easiest way to get your entrance to Disneyland is to purchase them on the official website. It’s very user friendly and explains different options in a very clear way. You can also buy them at location but it will be more expensive. This option is better when it comes to last minute decision. I bought my entrances in September, 2 months and half in advance, and saved quite a lot.
What are the prices and which option should I choose?
I would say this is a very personal decision which depends on how much budget and how much time do you have. The cheapest option is a one day ticket and if you have limited time, you should go for it. However, the packages are more profitable because they include not only the entrance to the park but also the accommodation on side. The package also gives you one hour extra to enter to the parks before they are open for the public. I chose the package of 3 days and 2 nights which included 2 nights in one of Disneyland’s hotels and the unlimited pass to both parks for 3 days. For those who are never enough of Disneyland there is the anual pass as well!
Did I say 2 parks? Yes! Disneyland pass is not only Disneyland Paris but also Walt Disney Studio Park. They are located next to each other and you can easily walk between them. When it comes to the price, I suggest you to check it on the website because it varies a lot depending on the season your are planning to go, if it’s a weekday or weekend etc.
For us 3 days were perfect to see all the attractions and do everything we were up to. We didn’t wanted to run from one place to another, especially because Edwin’s leg wasn’t fully recovered yet. In my opinion it would be hard for us to do the same itinerary in 2 days but maybe for others it would work perfectly. Again, it’s a very personal decision and I love the fact that Disneyland offers so many options to suit the best each one of us.
Where should I accommodate?
Another important information is the fact that every hotel in Disneyland has different accommodation fee so the pack including the most fancy hotels, for example The Art of Marvel, will be obviously more expensive. I decided for Hotel Santa Fe inspired by the movie Cars, which has a medium price and it was a very lovely stay!
All the hotels in Disneyland offer a free shuttle bus which takes you directly from your hotel to the bus station in front of the entrance of the park. Although all the hotels are pretty close to the park, around 15 minutes walking, it’s such a comfort to simply jump on the bus after all day of walking and exploring. The bus leaves every 12 minutes from both the hotel and the bus station and if I remember well, the last bus leaves 30 minutes to midnight.
Staying on side was great because we were spending 3 days there, but for those of you who are planning to go just for one day, Disneyland is very well connected with Paris.
How to get to Disneyland from Paris?
Disney Parks are located about 20 miles (32km) to the east of the centre of Paris. The fastest and the most comfortable way to get to Disneyland from Paris is by tren called the RER which leaves you at The Marne-la-Vallée/Chessy train station, situated at the gates of the magic, just a 2-minute walk from the entrance to the Disney Parks.
We arrived to Paris-Beauvais airport in early morning and the shuttle bus took us from the airport to Place de la Porte de Maillot. From there we had to take metro (line 1) to Charles de Gaulle – Etoile metro station where we jumped on the RER train. The journey takes about 40 minutes from Paris city centre. We paid 15,20 euro for both way train tickets for 2 people, which makes it 7,60 euro per person. The single metro ticket costs 1,90 euro. I will write more about transportation in Paris in a separate post.
For those who travel to Charles de Gaulle or to Orly airport there is a direct transfer from both airports to Disneyland called Magical Shuttle. If you are looking for maximum comfort and prefer a private transfer, you will find many companies that perform the service.
Where to eat in Disneyland?
The only inconvenient of Disneyland that I found was the lack of variety when it comes to food. Everything inside the park – coffee shops, restaurants and bars are pretty expensive but it wasn’t a surprise. What we personally considered unfavorable was the fact that there were mostly fast foods to choose from. Hot dogs, burgers, pizzas, burritos… all over both parks. It was hardly possible to find some more healthier option to eat. One night we opted to dine in our hotel and it was actually the best decision we’ve made. The night menu in Hotel Santa Fe cost 32 euro per person but it was an open buffet so we could put on the plate anything we wanted, including desserts. Was it expensive? Yes, but for us more profitable than a 10 euro hot dog. So if you struggle with food options in Disney Parks, we recommend to try hotel’s restaurants. Maybe for 1 day it wouldn’t be so important for us, but 3 days eating fast food wasn’t the best option and I’m glad that our hotel offered such a good and diverse menu.
How to organize your time in Disney Parks?
The first thing you have to do before you start the Disneyland adventure is to download Disney application which guides you through it all! Not only it shows the waiting time for each attraction, but also allows to book fast pass, a table in restaurant or a musical show. It was very helpful to see the waiting time because we could optimize our stay to the fullest, deciding where to go first and how to plan the rest of the attractions. The queues may vary depending on the time of the day. Also, there was much more people on Sunday when the park was opened until 9 pm. On Monday and Tuesday we spent much less time waiting in the lines because there were less families with children.
In our case fast pass wasn’t necessary because the maximum time we waited to enter the attractions was around 45 minutes and it happened maybe 2 times, on Sunday. Apart from that, we used to wait between 15 minutes and half an hour approximately, but mostly it was maximum 20 minutes. Everything is very well organized so even while waiting in the line you are always moving forward. I guess in summer waiting lines are longer and maybe fast pass is a great option then.
We spent the first 2 days in Disneyland Paris and the last day in Walt Disney Studio. This second park is smaller and one day was definitely enough. As I said, we didn’t have to rush and we managed to try every single attraction in both parks. We even repeated our favorite ones! I won’t write about the attractions because you have to see them and try them, no words will explain how amazing they are. I can only say some of them were so extreme that I was screaming like crazy 🙂
Apart from atractions, we also went to see The Lion King musical and it was an amazing experience. I cried like a baby because it’s my favorite Disney movie and it was soooo emotional to watch it. There are many other spectacles to attend but some of them require previous booking, so you can easily use your app for that.
What else should I know before I go do Disneyland?
The most important thing before you go – forget that your are an adult, just go and enjoy as a kid every single minute of your stay. We laughed, we cried because of so many emotions, we screamed, and we felt so damn happy! Disneyland experience cannot be compared to anything else we did before because it’s a pure magic. Seeing Christmas parade with Micky Mouse and all the Disney characters, singing Christmas Carols with them, taking selfie with Pluto, feeling like Jack Sparrow in the middle of the sea… it’s only a diminutive part of everything we’ve done. My absolute winner was The Sleeping Beauty castle which was simply breathtaking and even more at night with all the illuminations. Disneyland is a very unique place and no words will describe appropriately what it meant for me to be there. So my only advice for you is: go, have fun and live to the fullest every single second! And if you have any questions please let me know!